Joie de Vivre

I can’t even begin to describe the joie de vivre—enjoyment of life; exultation of spirit—that continuously bubbled to the surface throughout my recent European holiday!

My two favorite locations were Venice, Italy and Santorini, Greece:

Venice—roughly the same size as New York’s Central Park, Venice welcomes 70 million visitors annually. And though it hustles and bustles with modern day activity, it continues to exude old world charm.

I had a wonderful time capturing memories.

Santorini—fresh-from-the-oven pita bread, hummus, big juicy olives, and rich purple bougainvillea climbing white walls. Heaven on earth? Yes!

If tapping your heels together three times would instantly transport you anywhere in the world—different from your current location—for a 3 week holiday, where would you go?


48 thoughts on “Joie de Vivre

  1. So glad to see you are back in print. My weekly calendar has stabilized, Tuesday’s always means Laurie! I’ve enjoyed peeking over your shoulder as you remember your trip, what an exciting time! As for me, I am not quite as adventuresome, I would go to my mother’s birthplace, the Island of Newfoundland, the Canadian Provence that juts into the Atlantic from the far North Eastern point of the North American Continent. Whales, seals, polar bears and icebergs, deep, rugged fjords, abandoned Viking settlements and a strong Irish culture create a vibrant mix of the Old World and the New.

    • Sandi – The closest I’ve been to Newfoundland is Nova Scotia and it was beautiful. I can well imagine that island of your mother’s birthplace is well beyond stunning 🙂

  2. How many places can I get to in Three weeks? I would go to as many as I could!
    I am thrilled that you have had a great time and look forward to hearing about your journey!

  3. Welcome home, Laurie. I missed you.
    Hmm, I’d like to cheat a little. Instead of one place, I’d like to go to two: Eriksdale, Manitoba (where I was born) and Hofsos, Iceland (where my ancestors where born).
    But then there are all the places I haven’t been to yet–New Zealand and England and…
    Maybe this is why I don’t travel more often?

    • Leanne — Since it’s magic, I’m pretty sure it’s not cheating. I’ve heard that Iceland (and Greenland) are gorgeous. And I’m itching to go to New Zealand! Think of it this way… if we don’t get to die until we visit all of the places we want to see, then we’re both in it for the l-o-n-g haul! 🙂

  4. All of your photos show water. Even your camera is aimed toward the sea. While I like water, including the Venetian canals which we loved, I’d choose the mountains – the Smokies, especially, with a little lake close to where we honeymooned. Welcome back, Laurie!

  5. Looks like you had a most fantastic time Laurie! Yeeeehooo! As you know, I am far from home and not exactly holidaying at the moment. But yesterday, I received an invitation to visit the Magdalen Islands or “the Maggies” as they are called. It is a 5.5 hour ferry ride from Souris PEI. The islands are actually part of Quebec though closer to PEI and Nova Scotia. These are on my heel clicking three to six week list, along with Fogo Island in Newfoundland – not really to vacation, but rather to paint and photograph. Thankfully, my work often feels like a holiday 🙂

  6. Hi Laurie
    Glad you enjoyed the trip and good to be back in communication.

    As the saying goes, I’m not greedy, I just want a lot.
    I want to see the whole planet, all of it’s diversity, the geology, the weather, the oceans, the life forms, the people, the artefacts.
    Iceland is up there on our list of places to go. I’d like to see the many parts of England, Scotland and Germany that my several ancestors left in the 1800s to come to New Zealand. So many things to see, all interesting in their way. And Kaikoura is the place to return to for us – with its own many levels of beauty and uniqueness. Even as I sit here and write this I can look up at the snow covered mountains within 15 miles, 9 sparrows on the deck getting their morning feed (about 100 compatriots perched in nearby trees waiting their turn), large swells are crashing on the beach, their Shuussshing noise providing a backdrop to all other sounds, the spray they generate rising like morning fog over the beach, and a quick glance skywards reveals 6 layers of cloud, each displaying in its form information about the composition and behaviour of that particular layer of the atmosphere, and in the house the dogs are playing, and Ailsa tapping on her keyboard, the extractor fan whirring in the kitchen.

    So much information, so much constant change, so much beauty.

    And the internet – this, connecting me to diverse communities around the planet.

    What an amazing existence!

  7. Lovely to have this glimpse of your trip, Laurie. And I was impressed that you didn’t just gaze at the lovely scenes, you also found time to read! I hardly cracked a book in my own two-week journey to Scotland and England. As for where to go next, I think it will be Scandanavia.

  8. Funnily enough, my blog this week was “When home is a vacation.” We’ve been enjoying our home!.But we love to travel too and we really love to explore Great Britain. New Zealand is on the list too, because our daughter wants to go there.

  9. Having just returned home after two back to back trips I don’t really want to go anywhere right now. But I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand and Mongolia. Maybe some day!

    • Joan — Welcome back home!

      I loved reading the Advanced Reader Copy of your book, SHATTERING ASHES: A MEMOIR OF LETTING GO.

      New Zealand and Mongolia are great locations to have on one’s travel bucket list 🙂

  10. I would like to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in the fall, raft the rapids of the Colorado River, helo lift out to the Bright Angel Lodge and meet Sandi in the dining room for dinner.
    PS, Sandi and I loved your photos and are glad you are back safe and sound.

  11. So lovely to hear from you …how much joy you’re having . I was in Venice a few years ago , Laurie , I loved it …unique place . I think it would have to be Corfu , for clicking my heels trip . It was the very first trip I had abroad and I went alone . This time I would like to take my hubby and see it with old bird eyes 😊 Enjoy my sweet .

  12. It does sound wonderful, Laurie! I’m so glad you took photos to share with us 🙂 I would love to go to England one day and visit relatives there, as well as seeing the places my parents went to when they fell in love over there xx

  13. Fabulous trip, that goes without saying, and you have captured these ravishing moments for posterity. I have neither been to Venice nor Greece, but hope to before I expire. Breathtaking photos–looking forward to further revelations! Kudos to you and Len for pulling this off in high style! 🙂

  14. I’d probably have to say Northern England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. That would cover a wide swath of my ancestry, at least :). Of places I’ve been and would love to return to someday, Barcelona ranks high on my list.

  15. Both these places are fabulous! Happy you had a great trip! I have traveled so much this year that only a short trip to Finland and possibly Stockholm, Sweden is planned for this summer – to see family :).

  16. I love the title of this post. It’s a phrase I learned and fell in love with only recently, and I wrote it on a piece of paper, framed it and put it in our kitchen windowsill. 🙂 If I could go anywhere in the world right now, I would go to rural China. I want to experience something very different from my own culture, and what could be more different than East from West? Or Iran. Or Iraq. So much is happening there.

  17. Welcome back Laurie and I love your photos. I have been to Venice and it is so interesting, and special. My travels have taken me to many countries including parts of Italy. However, I never got to Tuscany and would love to see it and immerse myself in it for 3 weeks 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my latest blog post. Recent events prompted me.

    • Ann — Thank you for stopping by. Len and I are hoping to go to Tuscany, Italy and Provence, France next year. One of my favorite movies is “Under the Tuscan Sun.” And one of my favorite books is “A Year in Provence.”

      • Awesome. That would be an exciting trip, or trips 🙂 Yes I loved that movie Under the Tuscan Sun. I will have to check out the book you mention.

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